June 14, 2006

Well, so much for that idea

Apparently, Jim Mowen, defeated Republican candidate for the 17th district congressional seat, has decided that he'd rather pontificate un-sullied by give and take. (unless it's a blogger glitch or a goof, though it appears there's no longer any way to leave comments.)

Only a week or so after the launch of his blog, touted as a place to discuss things from a middle-of-the-road perspective, he's now apparently decided not to allow any comments at all to his rather bizarre views, including rationalizing Ann Coulter's insane and heartless attack on 9-11 widows because he sees it as a shrewd marketing ploy (again with the view that morality only counts when you're telling someone else what they should or shouldn't do, but is easily tossed aside in favor of the religion of cold hard cash and the free market.)and trying to equate James Carville with a woman who's views are beyond vile and who is dragging political discourse down to a level somewhere below professional wrestling.

And then there's his suggestion that all any one who has an opinion beyond "I'm so glad he's dead" regarding the killing of Zawquari is somehow a raving left-wing bomb-thrower. (People who "think too much" drive the right crazy. They crave nice, neat, black and white situations... simple solutions to complex problems, which is one reason they never work.)

He also completely goes off the deep end by suggesting global warming is fiction by pointing to historic high temps for the month of July. It's laughable. It makes one wonder how he's attained the high level of success he has. I sometimes think I'm not bright enough to really do well and make a large amount of money, but Mowen makes me think it can't be that tough.

He's chided me for my anonymity in the past, but after he's willingly published his views and the tortured and dubious logic he uses to fold, spindle, and mutilate reality and fact to fit his ideology, I think he might end up wishing he'd remained anonymous himself.

I hope he continues to offer his responses and opinions on posts here, but evidently, if you want to respond to his stuff, you're fresh out of luck.

His blog is now essentially, Mowen speak, you listen.

As easy as his stuff is to knock down, I can certainly understand why.


At 6/14/2006 9:59 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, I appreciate the fact that you can type, but do you have a problem reading?

In no way did I condone coulter's remarks, I only stated that she is doing nothing more than selling books - and that her comments were premeditated in an effort to sell books.

As far as the Global Warming issue, as I stated in the blog, I give facts and ask for people to comment according to those facts.

Why on earth would you have an issue with an intelligent debate based on facts?

As far as Zarqawi, is it wrong to be glad that someone who has killed hundreds (plus) and that would saw the head off of a living person is now dead? Someone that has vowed the continuous murder of Americans?

Other than that, I do appreciate the promotion of my blog on your site. I wish you the best and I do look forward to someintelligent debate with you - based on facts.

Jim Mowen

At 6/14/2006 10:30 AM, Blogger tiz said...

So if I wrote a book with a chapter implying that Jesus Christ was a homosexual that wouldn't be deplorable because, you know, it's just a marketing ploy.

As to the global warming thing, Mowen would do well to stay away from talking about science in general. I would wager his "scientific" stance regarding abortion cost him the primary. Oh I forgot, the QCT had an agenda against his campaign. pfft.

At 6/14/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Alright... I'll be clear. You weren't condoning Coulter's remarks, but rather rationalizing them as merely some commercial ploy. I regret if I wasn't clear enough about that above, though I know I didn't say you agreed with her.

Yes, another brutal leader bites the dust. But there's probably dozens running around doing equally brutal things on an even larger scale this very day in Africa, (or elsewhere for that matter) but no one's too ruffled about that. I don't see anyone leading a charge to go drop a few tons of bombs on them.

This whole war is being sold like a rather horrific comic book to the public, and I'm ashamed so many people swallow it wholesale.

The facts on the ground aren't nearly as neat and tidy as the good guy/bad guy thing Bush and his followers are so fond of.

And the notion that our troops, our leaders, our country is somehow automatically doing good by every brutal and destructive measure we take is simply a bizarre and disgusting notion.

I'm not accusing you of this, though I've got a hunch you're a prime practicioner, and neither does it suggest I "hate America" as righties seem to bellow anytime anyone so much as questions our actions around the world.

It's an inconvenient fact, and too uncomfortable for some to grasp evidently, that in war, morality is all relative. As the saying goes, one mans terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

I'm not suggesting that barbarism and slaughter is excusable, nor that there's never any moral high ground in war, but rather that brutality and massive slaughter is not limited exclusively to the 'evil-doers' in this situation.

One bad guy bites the dust. Thousands more are still there, still alive and mad as hell and wanting the "infidels" the hell out of their country.

"Celebrate" Zawquari's death if you want to, but I suggest it's not a whole hell of a lot to celebrate when viewed against the entire situation.

At 6/14/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jim Mowan sez:

"Other than that, I do appreciate the promotion of my blog on your site. I wish you the best and I do look forward to someintelligent debate with you - based on facts."

Looks like it'll have to be here, cause there's sure no discussion going on at your place. You don't allow it.

At 6/14/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Tiz, please feel free to comment on the 'scientific' thought on global warming. I just lay out some facts and a suggestion/ question.

Dope, now didn't that feel good to get the real issue off your chest. You hate Bush, you hate the effort in Iraq and hiding behind a photo just didn't seem to make sense.

As for me not allowing dissent on my site - come on, isn't that the kettle calling the pot black? (as you seem to have an answer for every dissenting comment - and you always seem to be right, no?).

And as to your comment about 'no discussion going on at your place' - well, thank you but I believe that there is virtually as much on my site as yours (and (1) they are not all my responses, as are half of your comments, and (2)my site is not but 2-weeks old!). Thank you for the concern though.

At 6/14/2006 1:30 PM, Blogger IHG said...


If I am so wrong on my blog on questioning the reality of 'Global Warming' (as opposed to my logic that (by taking the facts) this may be nothing more than a cyclical issue), why don't you post a logical rebuttal.

I am posing a question - could this be cyclical? The facts certainly make a strong case. I sincerelty invite you to provide an intelligent responses based on facts.

But I think that a logical and reasonable person would have to agree with my premise...that this could just be cyclical, no?

At 6/14/2006 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Jim Mowen's site doesn't allow comments on all his blog entries. Even his blog description says it's a place to discuss issues.

At 6/14/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Uh, Jim,

You either shut down comments on your site or your didn't. If you did, where, oh where, will I go for intelligent "middle of the road" discussion? If you didn't, why didn't you defend yourself whilst you were posting above.

You either believe in the marketplace of ideas or you don't.

At 6/14/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

Also Jim, because your a fan of the slippery slope argument, at what point does it become sinful to be glad of another's death?

Killing hundreds of Americans? What about killing one? Or just maiming and disfiguring? What about assaulting?

My point is that I don't think one should ever be glad about another human's death. I can be thankful for the fact that he will no longer carry out attacks, but I cannot take pleasure in it.

At 6/14/2006 11:02 PM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

I can tell you why, Jim Mowen is a typical right wing nut job. They always say one thing that sounds all nice and fuzzy but really mean that it's their way or no way. And this middle of the road crap Mowen, come on you are as far wrong (right) as the come.

At 6/14/2006 11:30 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Is it a sin to hate Bush? Does that somehow make any facts or observations invalid?

I make no appologies for hating Bush. I think anyone who truly values this country and it's freedoms and what it stands for should hate Bush and what he and his gang are doing to her.

It's those "see no evil" types who are no patriots, while they stand idly by doing nothing, or worse yet, those who labor to excuse and rationalize the abuse of office and assault on constitutional rights of this administration.

Did you have the impression I was trying to keep my views of this administration under wraps? Are you freaking nuts?

You think "it feels good to get it off my chest"... where the hell have YOU been?

I've never pulled my punches or fallen for the utter bullcrap that somehow we're all duty bound to not be "too hard" on our erstwhile president, an utter failure by almost any measure.

To hell with that.

You can sit there and smugly act like anyone who passionately opposes this president and his policies is somehow out of line or illegitimate, but that's a false and frankly, un-American way of thinking. It's more patriotic than goose-stepping along with whatever Bush does, right or wrong.

And then you write this simply bizarre statement: "As for me not allowing dissent on my site - come on, isn't that the kettle calling the pot black? (as you seem to have an answer for every dissenting comment - and you always seem to be right, no?)."

So now you're... what? Trying to argue that I don't allow dissent here because I actually respond to dissenting comments? Isn't that kind of a... I don't know... dumb thing to say?

Isn't the essense of debate and discussion that one person states their views and other's respond, and yes, disagree? I thought that's what allowing dissent was all about.

But in your world, you think that to "allow dissent" one has to publish opposeing views unchallenged and unresponded to?

Weird. Just weird.

So now because I "have an answer for every dissenting comment", I'm somehow not "allowing dissent".

Maybe you should give another shot at explaining that logic, as I confess, I can't find any logic in that at all.

As to whether I'm "right" or not, that's up to the reader. I certainly believe I'm right on some issues, and I also am uncertain on others, have no opinion on yet others, and am open to having my mind changed if the facts and evidence show my views to be wrong.

Your site is two weeks old, as I prominently noted. But how can you say there's as much dissent or discussion on a site which DOESN'T ALLOW RESPONSES OR COMMENTS???

Doesn't that kind of take away your ability to argue that there's as much dissent and argument on your site as there is here?

What happened? Did you turn comments back on again? Maybe you did, I've not checked.

But if you haven't, that last part is preposterous.

At 6/15/2006 12:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And I might add, not that I want this to turn into some silly blog competition, but before I went to a registered users only policy here, I had literally hundreds of comments a day.

You had open comments, I'm assuming, before you decided to shut them down entirely.

If you want to compare numbers, compare the numbers of comments I had before I restricted them to registered users.

Let's compare traffic. I'm currently averaging around 300 per day which hasn't changed appreciably for about 6 months, with a high one day total of well over two thousand.

At 6/15/2006 12:27 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And I might add that before I went to a registered users only policy here, I had literally hundreds of comments a day.

You had open comments, I'm assuming, before you decided to shut them down entirely.

If you want to compare numbers, compare the numbers of comments I had before I restricted them to registered users.

But Let's compare traffic. I'm currently averaging around 300 per day which hasn't changed appreciably for about 6 months, with a high one day total of well over two thousand.

I have no idea how that compares to other local independent blogs, but how does it compare to yours? (bearing in mind you're new)

At 6/15/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Relax Dope, technical issue - somehow the setting on the site changed. It's been corrected - so have a ball!

As far as numbers, I do not even know. Honestly, do not really care. I am doing nothing more than throwing ideas out there, seeing if anyone cares. I sincerely believe that if we can get past the rheteric, most people care about the same issues, have largely the same concerns and the solutions, again, if we can get past the rheteric, are not that difficult to agree upon. I only want to see if this is an accurate perception. As I state, some on the ultra-fringes (possibly you are in that group, I am not certain) just want to bash the other side regardless of the greater-good. To those, no one can reason with them - and I certainly do not want to try.

As for your numbers, congratulations.

Jim Mowen

At 6/15/2006 12:00 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Jim apologizes for the problem which cut off comments. He doesn't know what caused it.

I have studied this issue closely and I believe it was global warming.

Same thing happened in the 30's and no one was able to comment on blogs then, either. It's just too strange to be a coincidence!

At 6/15/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Really, there's no need to continually tell me to "relax". I'm as cool as a cucumber.

I find your excuses a bit slick, but what the heck.

Good luck on your theory that most people agree on issues and solutions to them.

If that were the case and they agreed with your particular and peculiar views and proposals for solutions, you'd likely be facing Phil Hare at the moment.

I will allow that, given the chance to answer without any party affiliation associated with them, countless polls and studies have shown that the public considers issues championed by the Democrats to be far more important to them than silly flag-burning, gay bashing, and other phony hot-button issues pursued so doggedly by the right.

The same goes for solutions. A clear majority don't favor school vouchers nor outlawing abortion, for just two examples.

Privatizing Social Security went over like a gigantic lead balloon, despite Bush spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars to fly around the country pushing it for all he was worth. (not much)

The clear fact in all this is that the issues which the right wing ideologues and so-called Christian right are pushing are largely things that aren't anywhere close to the top of the list of things the average person is concerned about, but the huge media effort behind them have managed to give the appearance as if it is.

People are sick to death of Republicans fiddling while Rome burns. They want real answers to health care, fixing and securing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, improving education and oppportunity for kids to attend college.

On all of these measures, the right has sought to make things worse, not better, cut college aid, and sought to let Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid die on the vine by neglect or pushing privatization schemes which were easily shown to be nothing more than a gigantic wealth transfer scheme from the middle class and the elderly to insurance companies and Wall Street brokerages.

People don't give a damn about a tax which affects something like one percent of one percent of the population with estates valued at over two million dollars, with even that limit set to be raised by two or three time more in the near future.

Yet to hear the right squawk about it, it's critical to the nation that the literally billions of dollars in tax revenue the estate tax represents be done away with and poor Paris Hilton and others like her be spared this horrible "death tax".

Hell, even Bill Gates, Sr. is a vigorous spokesman against this silly idea, and I think he knows a few people who are worth more than a couple million bucks.

So if your contention and theory is that people don't agree with 80 or 90% of what the right pushes as cricial issues, nor their supposed "solutions", I think you'll find you're right on the money, especially in this area.

And if you think that feeling that this "war" in Iraq is a horrible, tragic, bungled, misguided, and inconceivably costly mistake is a "fringe" view, you've GOT to get out more and watch something besides Fox News for a change.

It's not that hard to find even leading Republicans sharing that view these days.

I'm not sure exactly what it is that places my views on the "fringe" in you view, but I know that with little exception, my views in general are shared by at least half, if not the majority in the country. If that puts them in the "fringe" category in your mind, you're welcome to believe that fiction.

The bottom line is that the Republican dominated and lead government, their actions and policies just isn't working, isn't succeeding, and people clearly don't like the direction they see them leading the country.

They (foolishly) gave the right a shot, and they failed miserably (as usual). Now the public wants an end to it.

If anything, that suggests that your views are more nearer the "fringe" than mine.

Happy to hear that your blog settings mysteriously changed and that you've now corrected the situation.

I find it interesting that you have no curiosity about how many people read your page. After all, you say you want to find out how many people share your conservative views.

For all you know, the only traffic you get could be from people randomly browsing Blogger and a few people who've checked it out due to it being mentioned here.

Seeing as how counters are free, wouldn't you like to know if you even have an audience?

Evidently not.

At 6/15/2006 2:04 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Please start writing such long responses, I get bored with you halfway through.

Come on, Republicans and Democrats are concerned about the same issues,

Healthcare/ Healthcare Costs
Social Security
Economic Development/ Jobs
Size of Government

These are the 'top of the list issues' for both (average Joe) R's and D's.

The answer to these solutions are not being adequately addressed by either side of the (political) isle - however, as the Republicans have the majority presently, they must carry the primary burden of responsibility.

Why do you continue to point to Pat Robertson as the spokeman for the Republican man-on-the-street? Should I assume that Al Gore, the inventor of the internet, or the spotted-owl crown speaks for the entire Democrat Party?

You want to be divisive in everything that you say, when the relaity is that the list as spelled out above is (primarily) the list of concerns of American men and women across the political spectrum.

And, again, I do welcome your input on the posts that were affected on my site. You have been silent on addressing these issues for the over over 6 hours since the problem has been corrected.

Jim Mowen

At 6/15/2006 2:34 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Listen, just because your guy Bush can't read anything over a few paragraphs doesn't mean you can't.

If you get bored that easily, I'm damn glad you're not in elective office. You'd be comatose.

That list are some primary issues, however as far as what to do about them, if anything, the parties and ideologies are vastly separated.

The right has been largely dominated by those who think government shouldn't do anything about anything, unless it's providing welfare to large companies and giving tax breaks to the already wealthy.

Many Republican leaders would like nothing more than if government programs designed to address many of those pressing problems were simply abandoned, or at least their funding cut to the point where they're useless and ineffectual.

The Republicans cut the Head Start program, has continually sought to de-fund and turn PBS into some ideologically acceptible (to them) news outlet under the threat of drastic funding cuts for Sesame Street and other PBS programing, have slashed college loan and grant programs, put corporate lobbyists in charge of regulating the very industries they used to lobby for, allowed corporation lobbyists to literally write the language of legislation inside the capitol, and on and on.

If you have the goofy idea that criticising such things is somehow "out of bounds" or beyond the limits of polite debate, then you're the one who's got some "fringe" ideas.

The idea that anyone who criticizes this president, his policies and actions, or the ruling party and their policies and actions can somehow be dismissed as some partisan "fringe" which should be safely ignored is nothing but the lowest form of avoiding the issues or the debate.

And just FYI, my role isn't to go to other people's blogs and debate them on everything they post.

Your stuff almost debunks itself. No effort on my part is really needed, even if I had the time or the inclination to patiently try to tell you why you're wrong.

And besides, you can't comprehend anything beyond a frew paragraphs anyway. So unless I spoke in bumper sticker slogans, apparently the level you prefer, your ADD would kick in and I'd lose you.

I'm sure your pithy observations will attract all kinds of thoughtful debate without my having to bother with being your personal foil.

You just turned your comments back on a matter of hours ago and you're wondering why I haven't gone to your site and spent hours trying to point out the error of your views and logic?

No offense, but I've got better things to do.

I've responded to your posts here and more than addressed your right wing ideas and your odd logic or lack thereof.

And again, why bother trying to respond to you if you're brain goes blank after the first few paragraphs?

At 6/15/2006 3:30 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, apparently 'better things to do'does not include stating anything other than how bad Republicans are. Rather than just harp on the anti-Republican rhetoric, which should be below someone of your vast knowledge, how about telling us how things should be done?

Since you brought it up, please do tell me, (1) what is the average spent per child in the Head Start program? As you are so certain that (1) the funding has been cut, which it has not been (the scheduled increases were reduced), then you certainly must know what the average per child of expenditures are - and (2) please fill me in on the (a) original reason for funding PBS, (b) the amount of PBS funding that comes from you and I (the US taxpayer - I do assume that you pay taxes?), and (c) why does PBS still require funding from the US taxpayer - the answer to this should be clear when answering b and c above.

I will provide the facts shortly - to allow you time to respond.

Again, i appreciate the dialogue - Jim

At 6/15/2006 3:42 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Ok, now for the answers...

The US Taxpayer spends slightly over $7,500 per child in the Head Start program. That is more than it costs to send a child through many public Universities. However, the universal cry of tax & spend liberals is - "we must fully fund Head Start!". To what degree? $10,000 per child, $15,000 per child, how about $20,000...more? Where is the money going? Why so much? What are we accomplishing? HOW MUCH CAN WE AFFORD TO STRAP THE US TAXPAYER - AND THE ECONOMY? These are questions that need to be asked.

PBS was created to provide choice when we had only three choices. PBS receives approximately 15% of its operating budget from the US Taxpayer. (1) We now have choice in what we watch so the very reason that PBS was created is no longer an issue and (2) a loss of 15% of a budget, if it cannot be made up from the viewers, from the commercial sales of Elmo and Big Bird, would clearly indicate that, again, this is not something that the US Taxpayer (you and I) needs to be paying for.

My son loves Elmo, but you know what, one of the 500 stations that exist will pick up Elmo. The news that is shown on PBS...I think that our society will exist if we lose one news report.

The fact is that the US Taxpayer needs a break - we need to start killing off a few sacred cows (there just is a time when a program needs to end - and there are likely a few hundred pet programs of both party's that can go away - TO THE BENEFIT OF THE US TAXPAYER!).


At 6/15/2006 11:26 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I dont' want to devote too much time to this, after all, I don't want to bore you, God forbid.

So I'll give you your first point on Head Start and take the risk that your numbers are solid.

My own feelings are that if we could have back a fraction of the money literally looted from our government by contractors in Iraq, it would easily pay the cost for providing at risk kids guidance, teaching, and critical nutrittional support in the years that have been proven conclusively to have a great impact on their health and success or lack thereof for the rest of their lives.

To ignore them and de-fund this program would be allowing thousands of at risk kids to be further neglected just at the time when intervention could have the most positive effect.

You cry about the cost, but are typically short-sighted. Pound wise and penny foolish, in other words.

For the cost to society to deal with these kids when they fall into lives of crime or drug abuse and dealing is far, far, far more expensive than positive intervention before they fall through the cracks.

But... I guess you have your priorities, and these at risk kids aren't worth the investment in your view. I'm sure that these young kids would be pretty sad to know you felt they weren't worth the cost of trying to give them a decent shot at a good life.

Again, the "tough luck for you" we are NOT our brother's keeper, philosophy of the supposedly moral right. Guess these kids should have picked different parents.

But you just really REALLY go off the rails on PBS.

PBS wasn't created to provide one more channel!! Who in the world told you that, and why do you believe them? You buy the notion that the government decided to createa subsidized educational channel simply because they thought we needed more than three channels ???!!!


It was created with the best goal in mind, namely to provide a NON-COMMERCIAL channel as an outlet for public service and educational programming, free from commercial and corporate influences and free to report news and information to citizens free from pressure from advertisers or sponsors.

That is a vital service, and truly one of the very best services the government provides it's citizens in exchange for their tax dollars.

It's nearly the only thing available to all for the betterment of all.

And typically, the right wants to abolish it. I find this deplorable and incredibly wrong-headed.

In light of the increasingly ridiculous level of "infotainment" passed along as news in the current media environment, where news divisions are stripped to the bone and only tabloid and sensationalism make the screen and news values are dictated by what side-show attracts the most viewers, to attack or think PBS non-essential is simply mind-boggling.

PBS is the ONLY outlet which is free to report facts and news supposedly FREE from government pressure or commercial influence. (aside from C-Span perhaps)

And you want to get rid of it??

Why? Because the truth as reported by Bill Moyers and others makes the right look like liars and crooks?

I suggest that if that's the case, that's just too bad. Facts are facts. Just because they expose things to the public that don't look so good for the right and Republicans, is most certainly NOT a reason to abolish the thing.

This is one of the most glaring examples of the constant desire of the right to extinguish all visible signs of dissent, and it's simply deplorable and indefensible.

PBS represents the very best sort of programming for all demographics and all walks of life. It is simply irreplacable.

What do you suppose would take the place of PBS? That's right. Nothing.

It would simply vanish as the last island of rationality and unbiased factual reporting and vital educational services which covers subject matter which commercial broadcasting finds not profitable enough to produce, such as their array of cultural programming covering everything from bluegrass music to opera to cutting edge jazz, carpentry shows to quilting shows to courses by TV to coverage of state fairs and state athletics and the list goes on and on.

Take away PBS and all that would vanish forever.

With media consolodation already creating a vast wasteland of garbage, titilating crap, and junk news, WHY in the world could anyone think that now is the time to eliminate or defund the ONLY remaining outlet available free of charge which serves ALL of the countries citizens in a positive and unbiased way, free from commercial restraints and government pressure?

I simply can not conceive of any reason which would even come close to justify eliminating this beloved and vital service.

At 6/16/2006 1:24 AM, Blogger tiz said...

We should also get rid of NPR because there's plenty of good objective news and talk on the radio.

Head Start? There's like 20 daycare/preschools in the yellow pages - send your kids there. While we're at it we can do away with public schools too.. They were created when there was no choice, now we can send our kids to Alleman, Assumption, EM Christian or Rivermont (if you're a heathen).

At 6/16/2006 7:17 AM, Blogger IHG said...


I agree that PBS has wonderful programming, my kid loves it. Have you watched the news reports? There is little, if any difference between PBS news and any one of the other 100-options. We certainly do not require PBS news to keep the world spinning. 'Abolish PBS?' - are we tryiung to go off the deep end to rally the troops on this. You think saving the US Taxpayer some money that is not a required spending issue, which equates to 15% of the PBS budget is 'abolishing PBS'?

If, as you state, quilting, carpentry, etc., etc. cannot stand on its own - based on the choice of the people (because how else would these issues stand on their own), why should we confiscate money from these same people (in taxes) to keep the things alive that they have chosen (liberals like choice) not to support?

As for Head Start - who said anything about not taking care of children in need? That is the problem with you ultra-liberals...if we do not spend unbelievable amounts of money - and increasing amounts every year -you just stamp the 'heartless' tag on it. Did I suggest anywhere in my comment that we do not take care of people in need?

All I suggested is that we do not need to spend over $7,500.00 per year per child on Head Start, let alone provide it more money.

At 6/16/2006 9:39 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


Take away public funding of PBS and it becomes no different than CNN, MSNBC, or FOX and put it on the same race to the bottom in the pursuit of short term profits.

What is there about that simple fact that you don't get?

Why in the hell should you target PBS, of all things, to try to cut spending? It's insane!

How many millions of items are in the federal budget? And you think PBS is the priority for slashing funds? What sort of fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of federal spending does the 15% of the PBS budget supported by tax dollars represent?

Again, another right wing jihad against things that next to NOBODY shares their views. An attack on PBS is NOT what this country needs to address at this time.

People are sick to death of Republicans, and Dems to an extent, rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Your beef with PBS isn't because of a budget issue. That's disingenous. It's because the right have had a knot in their undies for a long time because they had no control or influence over PBS and their reporting.

They couldn't threaten or control the content or slant of political reporting by pulling financial strings. Now this is exactly what you and the rest are trying to do.

Also, how can you be so daft as to suggest that the news on PBS is no different than the news on say, FOX?

Have you even WATCHED PBS?

Wolf Blitzer standing in front of some razzle-dazzle graphics with 19 other graphics slapped on the screen and a constant crawl along the bottom, exchanging worthless drivel with other reporters about issues without informing people of much at all, devoting a quarter of the show to announcing what's coming up in the rest of the show, and half the time slot to commercials, with the result of getting about 10 minutes of news, if that, in a half hour show.

And hours and hours and hours devoted to bread and circuses coverage of the lateset white woman who's disappeared or celebrity gossip or coverage of American Idol and other crap which keeps the public docile and distracted.

You can't make out any difference between that and the McNeil/Leherer News Hour?

An hour which allows long-form interviews where people can actually answer in more than a 2 second sound bite and where they don't actively encourage meaningless shouting matches between dim-witted pundits?

You can't tell the difference?

What color is the sky in your world?

The free-market isn't a religion. It's not the solution to everything, and the simple fact is that it thoroughly corrupts and destroys many things of importance and value.

You can not apply the free-market to EVERYTHING without regard for the consequences.

If you have some religious like zeal to turn literally everything into a hyper-commercialized cess-pool, thus accelerating the proliferation of the sludge that already threatens to turn the populace into a nation of ignorant consumer/zombies, then have at it.

But I see it as very dangerous, irresponsible, and reckless, aside from it posing a very serious threat to democracy itself. (unless a population is provided with reliable and unbiased facts, it can no longer participate in it's own destiny.)

It's truly getting way too close to an Orwellian situation already.

I suggest that rather than being an active proponent of accelerating this slide, that it's more moral and responsible to resist it and defend the public's right to have reliable sources of information which are shielded from the pressures of commercial interests and political winds.

This dangerous view of the infallibility of markets is displayed by your view that we don't need shows on carpetry, opera, bluegrass, or other subjects which may not be commercially viable.

These are EXACTLY the shows that make PBS a priceless asset. It's BECAUSE it provides shows which covers cultural areas and intersts which aren't deemed profitable enough for commercial programming that it needs to continue being generously funded by the government.

You're arguing, in essence, that if you love opera, or symphonies, that you're sh*t out of luck if no channels feel they can turn a buck off of producing such shows.

You're saying that people who've never been exposed to opera or bluegrass or blues or any number of things should no longer be exposed to it on PBS, since such things don't turn a buck.

Yes, that's callous, and yes it's nearly heartless. Putting your trust and believing that the only morality is the free-market by definition means you can't have any heart. It's all cold, hard cash in that religion. There's no room for people, feelings, culture, and the greater good, unless of course there's a way to make a dollar from it.

The government does have an interest in perpetuating and spreading elements of it's culture which might not be a hot item for advertisers.

I can't help but envision programming in your version of the future. It will be nearly entirely infomercials and programs which are nothing but commercials diguised as actual programs. The free-market at it's best and most unfettered, right?

Get rid of Sesame Street and replace it with the latest cheap cartoon pushing the latest movie or marketing effort such as Pokemon, etc.

Have you seen what passes for children's programming on commercial networks? It's mostly garbage interspersed with acres of hard sell commercials.

Thanks anyway, but I'd GLADLY devote every dime of my taxes to PBS.

The funding the government provides PBS yearly is probably less than went unaccounted for in Iraq last week.

Sorry if I can't share your enthusiam for cutting off funding, which you know full well would change PBS so fundamentally that it would bear no resemblance to what it was established to be.

At 6/16/2006 9:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And before I forget again, just where in the hell did I ever drag that lunatic Pat Robertson into the discussion?

I never mentioned Robertson, nor did I ever suggest he was the spokesperson for Republicans.

If by that invented attempt to put words in my mouth you're trying to suggest that the religious right doesn't have enormous influence over Republican policies and politics then you're in la-la land.

At 6/16/2006 10:47 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Here's an article in the LA Times detailing the effort of the right to slash funding for PBS.

A Republican lead subcommittee wanted to slash funding by $115 million dollars, or 23%, but Bush orginally proposed a whopping 37% cut, which would have devastated the vital service.

A net cut of $95 million dollars, if passed, would go into effect Oct. 1. It would result in the elimination of some educational programming, including "Ready to Learn," a literacy probram, and "Ready to Teach," and online resource for teachers.

Last spring, the Republicans proposed cutting $223 million out of PBS funding but it was defeated after 87 Republicans joined Democrats in defeating it.

At 6/17/2006 1:05 AM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

The quality and content of PBS news is a world different from that on either network or cable stations, and it has that freedom because it doesn't have to respond to the corporate pressures that other stations do.

Like the Dope said, here is another example where the free market may not be in the best interest of the American public.

I can give you another one. I remember ihg making a big deal over the Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction." Now, if we were to leave it to the free market, I bet there would probably end up being more nudity on tv because sex sells. But we clearly need to regulate that because even if popular, it has detrimental effects on society.

So to with corporate influenced entertainment and news (if there is any difference nowadays anyway). Today, cable and network put forward the glam and the snappy graphics and have people shouting at each other, etc. That's not news. I want people doing a little more work, going a bit deeper into the story and tell me what it's realy about. I don't what all the opinion and editorial on cable news. I want to hear it from people in the situation, or at least from people really taking the time to study it. That's the kind of thing that PBS (and NPR for that matter) provides.

The problem is that I don't think there are enough people like me and the Dope out there to make BS profitable. Should we lose out then and be forced to accept the lowest common denominator?

At 6/17/2006 3:36 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

hi, I feel your pain with regard to PBS and the fact that it "doesn't have to respond to corporate pressure". But really, how is it better to be exempt from "corporate pressure" but have to deal with "political pressure"?

I have never understood journalists who bitch about the "business" end of journalism. Who do they think will pay their salaries? In my view, Al Gore or George Soros or some other liberal billionaire should buy PBS/NPR and just make it their political organ.

I can't tell you how many times I have watched PBS and thought:

1. OK, that's part of the story, but what's the rest, and

2. PBS, making the most interesting subjects dull.

Because it is taxpayer financed, PBS tries to be all things to all people----it ain't workin'.

At 6/17/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

PBS ain't perfect, but it's a damn sight better than everything else.

As far as your point when journalists and others bitch about the corporate bend of news, I think you've forgotten how it ran for decades.

The idea is that the public owns the airwaves, and in exchange for allowing commerical companies the use of them, these stations are supposed to devote so much of their air time to public interest and news programming.

This has been utterly abandoned, as has been the "equal time" standard which dictated that if a station aired an editorial piece, someone from the opposing side had a right to demand and get equal air time to voice their views.

The way it can, did, and should work, is that the news divisions of networks should be utterly and entirely separate from the business side. There should be a chinese wall between the two.

News divisions were always independent from their corporate bosses, and often gave the CEOs and presidents absolute fits and no end of trouble, but... they stuck to the principle that the news HAD to be independent.

(watch "Goodnight and Goodluck")

This has been utterly abandoned and the view that the news is just another money making aspect of the corporation has become the reality.

This is where the decline starts.

News divisions need to be insulated from corporate pressures to a large degree. (obviously, they can't staff bureaus in every country on earth or spend half the companies budget)

The networks and corporations that own them need to be reminded once more that they are making their billions from the use of PUBLICALLY OWNED airwaves and as such, have a solemn responsiblity to provide reliable and responsible news to the country's citizens as a vital part of the healthy functioning of our system of government.

Everyone knows instinctively that an informed public is absolutely critical to maintaining a healthy democracy.

I heard a quote last night that stuck with me.
"In an atmosphere of universal deceit, telling the truth is subversive."

Well, we're damn close to an atmophere of "universal deceit", and we're in dire need of some more truth.

PBS is one last outlet where people at least have a shot at hearing it.

At 6/21/2006 5:18 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...


The reason Al Gore or George Soros doesn't buy PBS and turn it into a political organ is that they (and I) believe that the news should not be a political organ.

I think there is a place for politcal news sites that openly admit their slant and try to reach their own audiences. I do not fault Fox News for its bias. i fault it for purporting to be neutral but in fact being biased.

In addition to political news and blogs, however, there should be an objective, as unfiltered as possible, station to carry news. Sucha channel is going to be dull. News should not be entertaining. One shouldn't watch news to be entertained. One should watch news to be informed, and informed correctly.

At 6/26/2006 6:45 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

I think Jim Mowen needs an education. May I suggest that he attend the new screening of the Al Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth....

Coming to the QC very soon - this weekend I heard.


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